Saturday, February 16, 2013

White As Snow: Nemo and More {Lent Day 4}

Robert took the trampoline down in preparation.

Weathering Nemo last weekend was actually kind of fun.  I can say that, because I wasn't one of the tens of thousands of folks without power.  Our family got a weekend together at home, a postponed women's retreat, and a sort of extended Sabbath rest.  A warm fire flickered in the living room, there were mugs of hot chocolate, hot tea and coffee, corn chowder simmering on the stove top and movies being watched while snuggled under blankets.  It was wonderful.
Good thing he did!

Robert and I also got to make use of the snow shoes we purchased about four years ago.  They were definitely not needed while we were on sabbatical in Texas last winter, and even the winters prior to that one were too mild to have a chance to use them.  I enjoyed our morning trek in the fresh fallen feet of snow so much, that I talked him in to going out again for a longer trek in the late afternoon.  {It's excellent exercise, too. Whew!}
One thing that is so nice about fresh snowfall is that it covers all of the dirt and grime that has accumulated on the previous snow.  We were the first to take a walk through it on the rail trail near our house, and everywhere you looked was pure white.  The red berries and barns {and Ford pick-up trucks, I suppose!} creating the most beautiful contrast.
Blazing a trail!

Up to her elbows!

I couldn't help but think of the covering and the purity Christ's forgiveness grants to us, and how David pleads with the Lord to purify him and wash him making him whiter than snow.  I thought of a story Beth Moore tells about going to sleep one night at The Cove, Billy Graham's conference center in North Carolina.  She felt convicted by her past sin being in the presence of such a righteous man and his legacy, and fell asleep with her Bible on her chest, tears streaming down her cheeks.  In the morning, an unexpected snow had fallen, and as she looked out the window of her cabin, she thought of what the Lord says in Isaiah 1 "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool." {v. 18} She was overwhelmed by the gift from His hand ~ seemingly just for her.
A blanket of white as far as you could see.
It's been a week now, and the snow has become a bit of a nuisance.  It's dirty and it's in the way.  One friend was late to our coffee date on Thursday, because she backed her car into a snow bank, and couldn't get out.  You can't see around corners and parking spaces are limited because of the mounds of snow piled in lots. 
I got up pretty early this morning, so that I would have time to read and to pray and to write ~ about being washed and white ~ about confession and restoration with Christ.  The boys are away at a retreat, and Kayla was snuggled sound asleep in my bed upstairs, so the house seemed so gloriously silent.  I crept downstairs in the dark and began starting some water for tea when I looked outside.  This is the beautiful gift that I could barely take in...
Fresh fallen snow lining every branch of every tree and bush and power line. It was totally unexpected, and a vivid picture of purity and the covering of the stain of sin He gives to me. "How blessed is the he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!" {Psalm 32:1}

And it's not that we should return to the dirt or play around in the grime again and again.  I read somewhere that confession is not really meant to be our daily bath.  Being forgiven much should move us to love much.  We don't continue in sin so that grace will abound.  It's more about knowing my place before a holy God, and having daily fellowship with Him. It's a position and place of joy, really,  if only I will meet Him there and experience His covering consistently.

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